On Thursday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that "Russia has no plans to leave Syria and will continue to try to meddle in US affairs to 'stick it to' America."
Commenting on the remarks, Alexander Gusev, a political scientist and director of the Institute for Strategic Planning, reminded Sputnik Radio that the US and their allies are operating in Syria without an agreement with the legitimate Syrian authorities.
"The political elite of the US considers that Russia is 'meddling with the US interests in Syria.' However let me remind you that Russia and its Armed Forces are operating in Syria on the invitation of legitimate President Bashar al-Assad. And what is the US doing there? On what grounds is the US military operating in Syria? Nobody has ever invited them there," the political scientist told Sputnik.
He further noted that the US thinks of itself as a major moderator in practically all global processes, which has the right to set the agenda and interfere in all conflicts. It is the US that very often foments regional conflicts to be able to pursue its own policies in the regions, topple regimes and oust and murder political leaders.
"They want Russia to step aside, raise its hands and let the US to decide. However the US should get used to the idea that it won't ever happen. Russia has its own interests: geopolitical, economic, social and humanitarian. Russia does not unleash wars. Instead, Russia liquidates and settles conflicts," Alexander Gusev told Sputnik.
"Special Operations Command chief Army General Raymond Thomas said that, while counterterrorism remained a priority for his forces, international law could prevent the US from maintaining a long-term presence in Syria, where its intervention has been declared illegal by the government," according to a Newsweek report.
"Russia is also involved in the fight against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and other jihadists in Syria, but entered at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, something that Thomas said could allow Moscow to make a solid case for the US's departure," it further notes.
"Here's the conundrum: We are operating in the sovereign country of Syria. The Russians, their stalwarts, their backstoppers have already uninvited the Turks from Syria. We're a bad day away from the Russians saying, 'Why are you still in Syria, US?'" Thomas said.
"If the Russians play that card, we could want to stay and have no ability to do it," he finally stated.